Which Distro?

Uncle Kridley krid at otisbean.com
Wed Jul 16 21:24:11 CEST 2008

Vijay Vaidyanathan wrote:
>> all are included. learn the one u like most - that solves the problem u want to
>> solve best! stop thinking that we will only ver ship and support 1 widget set
>> and then u have to learn that. you will be waiting a very long time. with FSO
>> above you STILL will need to make a choice. back-end system functions are
>> stuffed behind a dbus api. front end (widget set, toolkits whatever) is STILL
>> your problem.
> Assuming that your aspirations for the phone are to create something
> that is more than just a tinkertoy for a few systems nerds like me,
> and that you are hoping to eventually (but in the near future) attract
> widespread interest from end users fed up with current options, surely
> you will have to support just a single supported UI and development
> platform?

As I understand it, this is NOT the case.  Openmoko will, for the 
foreseeable future, ship with more than one UI toolkit.  It will 
probably ship with three (GTK, e and Qt), though it may eventually 
settle down to two.

This is a Good Thing.

I had not meant my comment to imply that I was waiting for the mythical 
day when there is Only One Toolkit.  However, I suspect that at some 
point it will be clear that one of the toolkits is the "standard", the 
one that the majority of the apps and developers use.  I figure that 
after a while it will be something like 70/20/10 or 60/20/20 in favor of 
one of the toolkits.  I'd rather learn the "majority" one than one of 
the minorities.  Of course, it could end up being more like 50/40/10, 
which is not so clear, but even so, I don't want to be working on the 
10% toolkit.

> So perhaps I can clarify: what distro do you intend to ship with to end users?

It is important to distinguish between "distro" and "toolkit".  I *hope* 
that there will be a clearly defined "factory" distro one of these days. 
  At the moment, it looks like it will be something based on FSO for the 
low-level stuff, with the shiny top-level stuff (wm, app menu, etc.) 
built on e, with apps running on various toolkits (probably primarily 
GTK and Qt).

I'm sure, however, that there will always be several distros available 
for the Openmoko.  Different people want to do different things with 
their phones, and they will inevitably package up distros reflecting 
this.  This is also a good thing.

       Dirk Bergstrom           krid at otisbean.com

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